All the best mystery stories reach their climax when a character exposes the real meaning of the mystery. After describing the mystery, most of the book involves the gathering and assembling of puzzle pieces. Engaged readers strain to discover a pattern in the clues and solve it early. Toward the end of the story, a master investigator finds a missing piece, ends the suspense, reveals whodunit, and tells everyone how they did it.
Until Jesus, a mysterious, nagging emptiness filled human history on the individual and social levels. People long believed that God had created them as part of a good world, but now the world was damaged and they were separated from God. The Jews had some puzzling clues, which said that relationship with God could be restored through the intervention of a Messiah. The clues were enough for alert observers to recognize the Messiah when he arrived, but they confused most people. So, few people were convinced that history had reached its climax when Jesus came as the Messiah (Christ).
It is easy to misunderstand the mystery of history. Human nature prefers religious formulae as promising remedies for our broken relationship with God. We slide back into doing as many of the “right” things in the “right” ways as we can. Alternatively, we make it an issue of how much we know. However, unlike other mysteries, the mystery of the gospel is embodied in a person. It’s not what we know, but Who we know. The mystery of God is Christ Himself.
Paul, who pieced together eyewitness accounts, scriptural clues, and his own experience, became the main spokesman to explain the mystery (the gospel, or word of God, as it is called). He pointed to Christ.
I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, [that is,] Christ [Himself], in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:1-3)
But Paul indicated that the mystery is two-fold; it is embodied in Christ, but Christ is embodied in us too.
Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:25-271)
So, forget the discouraging performances and the brain straining knowledge—enjoy a relationship with Jesus who longs to live as Christ in you.
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- See also Col. 3:4; Rom. 5:2; 8:17. [↩]
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